GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG interim men's soccer coach Justin Maullin has announced the appointment of Jay Benfield and Marc Nicholls as assistant coaches effective immediately.
"We are very fortunate to have assembled a quality staff," said Maullin, who took over as interim head coach Jan. 8. "Jay has spent the last two seasons at Lees-McRae, where he was an assistant to Chris Whalley. After an outstanding playing career here at UNCG, he helped them go to the round of 16 two years ago and the national championship game last year. Jay will work primarily with our goalkeepers, as well assisting with day to day operations in the office. I have been very impressed with Jay's work ethic and he is an excellent addition to our staff.
"Marc is one of the most respected USSF Academy coaches in the Southeast as evidenced by being named the Coach of the Year for the academy. Marc has a wealth of knowledge and we are very fortunate to have his level of experience on the sidelines.
"I think we have done a terrific job of putting together a talented team, and now we have a terrific staff to lead them."
Benfield was a goalkeeper for the Spartans from 2001-2005, helping the Spartans to the NCAA tournament's round of 16 in 2004 and 2005. He logged a school-record 5,324 minutes in goal for the Spartans. An All-SoCon selection as a senior, he was the driving force behind the Spartans' rise to No. 1 in the nation in 2004 and a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament. In 2005, he lifted UNCG into the round of 16 with a pair of stops in penalty kicks at Virginia Tech. Benfield had 14 career shutouts and had a goals against average below 1.00 his junior and senior seasons.
Benfield has served as an assistant coach at Lees-McRae the last two seasons. He helped the squad to the NCAA Division II tournament Round of 16 after winning the Conference Carolinas regular-season and tournament titles in 2008. Last season, Lees-McRae was No. 1 in the nation during the regular season, winning the Conference Carolinas regular-season crown. The club finished 18-3-2 and advanced all the way to the NCAA Division II national championship game, falling to Fort Lewis, 1-0.
A 2006 graduate of UNCG, Benfield also currently serves as a coach in the Twin City Youth Soccer Association and has previously served as an assistant coach at West Forsyth High School (2006-2008).
Nicholls will serve as an assistant coach while working as the technical director for Greensboro Youth Soccer. He joined GYS in 2005 after three years with Roanoke Star in Roanoke, Va., as their director of coaching.
Prior to his stint in Virginia, Nicholls was the director of coaching at the New Orleans Soccer Academy. NOSA enjoyed unprecedented success during his tenure, achieving multiple state and regional titles.
He has been involved in youth soccer for more than 12 years, including a period in his native Wolverhampton, England, before moving to the United States in 1997. He has since worked with the Louisiana, Virginia and North Carolina Olympic Development Programs.
Nicholls graduated from Liverpool JM University with a degree in history. He played soccer at both the county and university level in England.
UNCG – Named Jay Benfield and Marc Nicholls assistant coaches
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